13 – 19 May 2020: Cultural Events Online
From contemporary photography to “lecture-performance”

Illustration by two photographers in a photo studio
© Goethe-Institut. Illustration: Katta Rasche

While many places around the world are lifting lockdowns or at least easing restrictions and breathing a sigh of relief, analog events are still few and far between. So it's a good thing the digital cultural scene is going strong!  And this week has a lot to offer: new films, interactive online theatre, performative takes on ageing, a book club, some indie rock and a festival for friends of contemporary photography.

Wednesday 13 May, 6 pm
A TABOO TOPIC THAT SHOULDN’T BE is what the next event at the Literaturhaus Berlin is all about: feminist performance artist Ginka Steinwachs will be doing a “lecture-performance” of a piece called Eine Frau wird älter (A Woman Gets Older), featuring a piano, an hourglass and a cropped portrait of Goethe. Cultural editor Petra Kohse will be adding Velma Wallis’s 1993 novel Zwei alte Frauen (Two Old Women) to the discussion about ageing women in literature then and now. This interesting blend of talk, reading and performance will be hosted by non-fiction author and journalist Susanne Mayer.
>>> Literaturhaus Berlin
Thursday 14 May
IT’S ALL PERFECTLY KOSHER! In the documentary film Germans & Jews – Eine neue Perspektive (Germans and Jews: A New Perspective), Jews and gentiles in Germany discuss their highly sensitive multi-faceted relationship to each other. The result is a candid conversation about anti-Semitism and German guilt from a present-day perspective. The film will be available online in many regions starting 14 May. Click “+ Show” on this page to find out whether it’s available in your country.
>>> Germans and Jews


Once a month, this podcast delves deep into a story located in the art world. In addition to writers for the art magazine Monopol, interviewees include curators, event organizers and art critics.
>>> Monopol-Podcast at detektor.fm

Friday 15 May, 8 pm
GIIRLS JUST WANNA HAVE FU-UN. While some restrictions are being lifted in many places, crowded, noisy, fun events – clubbing, concerts and the like – are probably still a long way off. We needn’t deny ourselves everything, however: the indie rock duo Giirl will be giving a live-stream concert Friday night. These two musicians from Cologne abide by the motto “less is more”. One plays guitar, the other drums – and with oodles of energy. In addition to their own music, they bring their favourite records along too and address the present plight of clubs and people in the arts and culture.
>>> GiiRL
Saturday 16 May, Sunday 17 May and other dates
LESS THAN 1.5 METRES. “The distance between you and me is no greater than the distance between my screen and me,” write the makers of the interactive live game HYPHE, which onlinetheater.live invites us all to play, starting this week. The object is to get away from the self-serving, often aggressive operating principles of social media in order to create a dynamic of openness and a network in which empathy, support and community prevail. The number of participants is limited, so get your access code soon:
>>> Hyphe
PICTURES HAVE A LIFE OF THEIR OWN! This year’s edition of Germany’s biggest curated photography festival, the Biennale für aktuelle Fotografie (Contemporary Photography Biennial), is titled “The Lives and Loves of Images”. It’s about the independent lives of pictures and our ambivalent relationship to photography. All six shows at the Biennial 2020, including those at the Kunsthalle in Mannheim and Wilhelm Hack Museum in Ludwigshafen, have now been extended – and can be viewed on virtual tours. The exhibitions are all curated by John Campany, a Briton who says he’s a big fan of German photo theory. If you don’t feel like clicking your way through the venues, you can watch video recordings of guided tours over the past month on the Biennial's YouTube channel.
>>> Biennale für aktuelle Fotografie 2020 (Contemporary Photography Biennial 2020


Looking to livestream international cultural events? Kulturama brings the global arts scene right into your living room, including house concerts live from Buenos Aires, puppet theatre from Munich and live acts from the Berlin club scene. Organizers and artists list their cultural events on the Kulturama platform calendar, which opens them up to an unlimited international audience. Users will find the dates and times of upcoming events and can make donations to support artists of their choice. Together and in solidarity through this time.
>>> Kulturama.digital

Tuesday 19 May, 6 pm
IRTUAL IMMORTALITY, DIGITAL PHAROAHS & KAISERSCHMARRN – will be the subjects of the next talk at the Alexander von Humboldt Institut für Internet und Gesellschaft (Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society) (HIIG). The guest speaker will be Burkhard Schafer, a professor of computational legal theory at the University of Edinburgh. He’ll be talking about his play Digital Pharaohs. It’s about a society in which people feed artificial intelligences with all sorts of personal information and preferences in hopes that, after their death, the AIs will be able to give subsequent generations sound guidance, advice and assistance. This talk is part of the Twentyforty Talks series about various future scenarios for the year 2040. Conversing in English with Bronwen Deacon from the HIIG, Schafer will elucidate his dystopian utopia, which combines a ZombAI apocalypse with digital immortality – and he might even disclose what a recipe for Kaiserschmarrn [Austrian dessert: fluffy shredded pancake with raisins & powdered sugar] has to do with all that ...
>>> twentyfortytalks


Got any tips?

We’re always on the lookout for online events these days, so if you have any tips or leads of your own, please email us at: sophia.karimi@goethe.de or sinah.grotefels@goethe.de. We look forward to checking out your recommendations!